Author: Arnold Lobel
Plot Summary: When Toad sees Frog’s beautiful garden, Toad decides that he too would like to have a garden. Frog tells Toad that a garden is hard work and gives Toad some flower seeds to plant. After Toad plants the seeds, he tells them to start growing, and when they do not do so immediately, he shouts to the ground that the seeds should start growing—but this still doesn’t work. Frog suggests that Toad is frightening the seeds with all the shouting and tells Frog to leave the seeds alone for a few days. That night Toad observes that the seeds have still not begun to grow, and he worries that they are afraid of the dark. Toad begins experimenting with reading stories and poems to the seeds and playing music for them. Still, the seeds do not grow. Eventually, Toad falls asleep, and when he wakes up he sees that the seeds have started to grow. He is very happy that his “seeds have stopped being afraid to grow.” Toad then reports to Frog that Frog was right, growing a garden is “very hard work.”
Posted In: Aesthetics, Ethics, Logic

Discussion Questions
  • How do we know if what we do affects anyone or anything else?
  • If B occurs after A, does that mean that A caused B? Why or why not?
  • Toad says that Frog’s garden is beautiful. What makes a garden beautiful or not beautiful?
  • Is nature beautiful in the same way that for example, music and art are beautiful?
  • Frog tells Toad that the seeds are “afraid to grow” after Toad yells at the seeds. What might Frog mean by this?
  • Is Toad more invested in his garden after all his work, even if his work didn’t cause the seeds to grow? Do things matter more to us if we’ve worked hard for them than if they just come to us? Why or why not?

This lesson plan can be used in a classroom or online.

You can use either the physical version of the story, found in Lobel’s Frog and Toad Together, or this Claymation video is an excellent option if you are looking for an alternative to reading the story aloud.